Last Updated: Friday, 21 November 2014, 13:47 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2009 - Motive Confirmed: Novruzali Mamedov

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2010
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2009 - Motive Confirmed: Novruzali Mamedov, January 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e649691c.html [accessed 23 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Talyshi Sado
August 17, 2009, in Baku, Azerbaijan

Mamedov, 68, editor of a now-defunct minority newspaper Talyshi Sado, died in Baku prison hospital while serving a 10-year jail term on fabricated charges of treason and incitement to ethnic hatred. The next day, a Penitentiary Service spokesman told the Azeri Press Agency (APA) that the journalist appeared to have suffered a stroke. Penitentiary Service representatives claimed that Mamedov had refused a transfer to a civilian hospital for treatment.

The official statements were directly at odds with accounts from the journalist's lawyer and supporters.

Ramiz Mamedov (no relationship to the journalist), the editor's lawyer, said the journalist told him two days before his death that medical treatment had been inadequate and his health was deteriorating. The lawyer also told CPJ that prison authorities refused to release the journalist on humanitarian grounds despite calls from the Council of Europe's representative to Azerbaijan and the country's ombudsman. Mamedov suffered from hypertension, bronchitis, neuritis, and a prostate tumor, the lawyer said.

Emin Huseynov, director of the Baku-based Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety, told CPJ that prison authorities did not comply with a local court's order to provide Mamedov with medical treatment beginning in March. He said authorities refused to allow independent medical treatment offered by a European Union delegation that visited the journalist in prison in June.

Azerbaijani authorities took Mamedov into state custody in February 2007, initially on a trumped-up charge of resisting arrest, which was then changed to charges of state treason and incitement of ethnic hatred. A three-month-long, closed-door trial culminated in a 10-year jail sentence.

Authorities never disclosed their evidence against the journalist. News reports said the case was based on an allegation that he had received money from Iran to publish Talyshi Sado, a tiny, twice-weekly publication that served Azerbaijan's ethnic Talysh minority. The Talysh community spans northern Iran and southern Azerbaijan. The paper folded after Mamedov's arrest.

Medium:Print
Job:Editor
Beats Covered:Culture
Gender:Male
Local or Foreign:Local
Freelance:No
Type of Death:Dangerous Assignment
Suspected Source of Fire:Government Officials

 

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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